The ACC Guru
Week 6 Primer
There were some big and surprising results in Week 5 in the ACC. Clemson took control in the Atlantic by knocking off NC State, Wake Forest didn't stay down long after losing to Clemson themselves and handled Florida State, and Georgia Tech shocked the college football world with a win in Pittsburgh days after firing their coach. Week 5 also confirmed 2 things we were pretty sure about: the 2 Virginia teams are bad, and the Coastal is still chaotic. Week 6 brings us a few games that can help determine the pecking order in the Coastal, and the game of the week in Raleigh between 2 teams coming off their first loss. Let's get ready for week 6 with an updated power ranking and looking at this week's matchups.
Week 6 Power Rankings
1) Clemson 5-0 (3-0)
Last Week: W 30-20 vs NC State
This Week: @ Boston College
Clemson is the King of the ACC again. They've now won 37 straight games at home and at this point, I would be surprised if they don't find themselves in the playoff again this year. With Wake and NC State behind them, their toughest games remaining are road contests against Florida State and Notre Dame.
2) Wake Forest 4-1 (1-1)
Last Week: W 31-21 @ Florida State
This Week: vs Army
This game wasn't as close as the 10 point margin suggested. Florida State jumped out to an early TD lead, but Wake controlled the game from there. The Deacs showed they're the 2nd best team in the conference. They take on Army this week before a bye at the half-way point of the season.
3) NC State 4-1 (0-1)
Last Week: L 20-30 @ Clemson
This Week: vs Florida State
There's no shame in losing in Death Valley. NC State still looked like a top 15 team in the country, they just aren't as talented as Clemson. They now have to get re-focused for another huge game against FSU. A loss would be a big disappointment.
4) Florida State 4-1 (2-1)
Last Week: L 21-31 vs Wake Forest
This Week: @ NC State
Okay, so FSU is not back, but they're still a good football team. They'll most likely lost to NC State and Clemson in the next 2 weeks, and I'll still think they're a good football team, but a win this week puts them right back in the top 25 and Atlantic Division race.
5) Syracuse 5-0 (2-0)
Last Week: W 59-0 vs Wagner
This Week: BYE
Syracuse is 5-0 and ranked #22 in the country! They better spend the bye week celebrating, because I don't think it will last. There's a pretty decent chance they lose their next 6 games: NC State, @ Clemson, Notre Dame, @ Pitt, Florida State. Brutal stretch.
6) North Carolina 4-1 (1-0)
Last Week: W 41-10 vs Virginia Tech
This Week: @ Miami
The stoppable force (Virginia Tech's offense) met the movable object (UNC's defense) and it turns out UNC's defense isn't the worst unit in the conference. Thanks to a shocking loss by Pitt, a win this week puts the Heels in the drivers seat in the Coastal.
7) Miami 2-2 (0-0)
Last Week: BYE
This Week: vs North Carolina
Miami's bye came at a great time. They needed a week to figure some things out after that atrocious loss to Middle Tennessee. TVD has looked way worse than expected, but will be facing a Carolina defense that can definitely help right the ship this week. This is a must-win for the Hurricanes.
8) Duke 4-1 (1-0)
Last Week: W 38-17 vs Virginia
This Week: @ Georgia Tech
After going 3-and-out on their opening drive, Duke dominated UVA in all 3 phases of the game last week. The Blue Devils are now sitting atop the Coastal Division and from what I've seen so far, they have just a good chance as anyone to win the Coastal. Now, they head to Atlanta to face a Georgia Tech team coming off their biggest win in a few years.
9) Pitt 3-2 (0-1)
Last Week: L 21-26 vs Georgia Tech
This Week: vs Virginia Tech
What the hell was that Pitt? Is Pitt just going to lose an unexplainable game every year now? Last year was Western Michigan, and now Georgia Tech after firing their head coach. The Panthers are a better team than it showed Saturday and I expect them to bounce back this week.
10) Boston College 2-3 (1-2)
Last Week: W 34-33 vs Louisville
This Week: vs Clemson
That was a nice win for BC. The Phil Jurkovec/Zay Flowers connection showed up in a big way for the first time all year. They're going to need a lot more of that with Clemson coming to town this week.
11) Louisville 2-3 (0-3)
Last Week: L 33-34 @ Boston College
This Week: @ Virginia
Things are getting ugly in Louisville. They're 0-3 in conference and they may be without Malik Cunningham for their most winnable conference game left on the schedule. Scott Satterfield may be on his way out the door with a loss to Virginia this week.
12) Georgia Tech 2-3 (1-1)
Last Week: W 26-21 @ Pitt
This Week: vs Duke
Georgia Tech fired Geoff Collins, then went to Pittsburgh as a 21.5 underdog and pulled off a huge upset! GT won the turnover battle 3-0 and that turned out to be the difference in the game. Let's see if they can keep the momentum rolling with Duke coming to town this week.
T. Last) Virginia 2-3 (0-2)
Last Week: L 17-38 @ Duke
This Week: vs Louisville
T. Last) Virginia Tech 2-3 (1-1)
Last Week: L 10-41 @ North Carolina
This Week: @ Pitt
I'm including the Virginia teams together this week. Not in 13/14th place, but in Last. After this week, even if the middle is a big jumble, it's clear which 2 teams are at the bottom of the conference. Both teams offenses look broken, there's been some game management issues, and penalties have been a problem for both squads. A lot of these issues can be expected from first year coaches, but I didn't expect either team to look this bad. Both teams need to start playing a lot better, if they want to go bowling this year. Virginia probably has to win their next 2 games for that to become a reality, while the Hokies probably have to wait until November for some winnable games.
Week 6 Game Picks
Not a great week by either of us, but I feel a lot better about this one...
ACC Guru: 2-5
Woodrow’s Winners: 3-4
ACC Guru: 27-27
Woodrow’s Winners: 25-29
Louisville at Virginia (+3) Saturday 12 PM ACCN
ACC Guru: Virginia just played their worst game of the season, and I have zero confidence in them, BUT Malik Cunningham may not play, and Virginia hasn’t lost at home this season. Reluctantly taking the Hoos.
Woodrow's Winners: Uhhhhhhhhhhhhh....UVA I guess. Hoos have to win this but them getting three scares me as that's a line that doesn't make sense in my head. Give me the Wahoos to win in front what I'm sure will be a raucous Scott Stadium :)
Virginia Tech at Pitt (-14.5) Saturday 3:30 PM ACCN
ACC Guru: I know Pitt is coming off a terrible loss, but I’m going to chalk that one up to sometimes weird things happen in football. The Hokies look absolutely incompetent on offense. Pitt bounces back and wins big on Saturday.
Woodrow's Winners: Pitt first quarter, half, second half, game, money line, everything. Hokies will get pounded this week as a rough season goes ahead.
Duke at Georgia Tech (+3) Saturday 4 PM RSN
ACC Guru: This is the easiest pick on the board this week, in my opinion. Georgia Tech isn’t as good as it looked last week, but they beat a top 25 team and that got a lot of people’s attention. Vegas knows they can bait people into GT just by making them an underdog this week. Duke is actually a pretty good football team, and this line probably would have been double digits if GT lost last week. Duke easily covers the 3 points.
Woodrow's Winners: FATHER DID FORGIVE ME LAST WEEK--I will not change my ways. GT BABY.
North Carolina at Miami (-3.5) Saturday 4 PM ESPN2
ACC Guru: And now we get the toughest pick on the board. I can’t get a good feel for either of these teams. UNC’s offense still looks great, but the only team they’ve been able to stop is Virginia Tech. Miami looked like they were going to win the Coastal, then got embarrassed by Middle Tennessee. I think Miami and TVD get their ish back together and take this one in a high-scoring affair off a bye week. Canes cover.
Woodrow's Winners: ACC Coastal chaos is expected here...I'm worried about Carolina's defense here. I'll take the over...but for this picking purposes, give me Miami.
Clemson at Boston College (-20.5) Saturday 7:30 PM ABC
ACC Guru: Although BC did pick up a decent win last week and may no longer be considered the worst team in the Atlantic Division, Clemson is way better; however, it’s the Red Bandanna Game in Chestnut Hill, and I’m not picking against BC when they’re honoring Welles Crowther. And if you have 14 minutes to spare, you need to watch this. It’s probably the best story I’ve ever seen from ESPN.
Woodrow's Winners: Clemson is starting to round into form. BC won't be able to move the ball and 21 might be enough for the Tigers. Clemson all day.
Army at Wake Forest (-17) Saturday 7:30 PM RSN
ACC Guru: Wake bounced back in a big way from their heartbreaker against Clemson and showed why they’re still the 2nd best team in the ACC. This one won’t be as close as last year’s game was. Wake rolls.
Woodrow's Winners: Triple option could shorten this game but man is Wake explosive. Wake at home for me here.
Florida State at NC State (-3) Saturday 8 PM ACCN
ACC Guru: These are 2 really good teams coming off their first loss of the year. This game should help us sort out the pecking order in the ACC as well. I expect this to be a close, exciting game, but I’m going to take NC State. A field goal feels right, so I wouldn’t be surprised if this one is a push.
Woodrow's Winners: Fruada State last weekend. I'm putting the done chain on them. Wolfpack big.